Cryptocurrency roundup for March 8: The NFT Market explodes, FTX’s financial fiasco, Binance.US gets green light for $1B acquisition of voyager digital, and more

SNFT Trades Surge to 3-Month High, Blur NFT Marketplace Hits $400M in Weekly Volume

The non-fungible token (NFT) market is seeing a bullish trend, hitting a 3-month high for the second consecutive day with 125,814 trades in the past 24 hours. This trend is expected to continue as the market has experienced 19 consecutive days with at least $50M traded every day since the launch of $BLUR on February 15. The Blur NFT marketplace has seen an impressive $400M in weekly volume from 341K trades in the past week, with an average of $1,176 per trade. OpenSea followed second with $74.8M from 235K trades, with an average trade of only $318, representing about a quarter of Blur’s average trade value.

The $38 Million Bankruptcy Battle: Inside the Epic Legal Showdown for FTX’s Future

According to court records, the group of professionals assigned to the FTX bankruptcy case billed a total of $38 million plus expenses for their services in January. The bankruptcy administrators have hired law firm Sullivan & Cromwell as their primary counsel, along with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Landis Rath & Cobb as special counsel for the proceedings. AlixPartners, a consultancy firm, was also retained to conduct forensic analysis on FTX’s DeFi products and tokens. To sort through FTX’s accounting records and determine which assets can be sold, financial services firms Alvarez & Marsal and Perella Weinberg Partners were retained. Sullivan & Cromwell billed $16.8 million, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan billed $1.4 million, and Landis Rath & Cobb billed $663,995 for their services in January.

Digital Asset Investment Products Experience Fourth Week of Negative Sentiment

Investment in digital asset products recorded a minor outflow of $17 million last week, marking the fourth consecutive week of negative sentiment, according to Coinshares. The total volumes of investment products were low at $844 million for the week, which also reflects a similar situation for the entire Bitcoin market volumes, which averaged $57 billion, down 15% from usual levels. The report highlighted a regional sentiment flip, with the US seeing inflows of US$7.6 million while Europe saw outflows of US$23 million. Bitcoin continued to be the focus, with outflows for the fourth consecutive week totaling US$20 million, while short-bitcoin saw inflows for the third week totaling US$1.8 million.

Collapse Of SEN Network To Boost Stablecoin Use: Report

With the collapse of the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), stablecoins are expected to become even more ubiquitous as traders deposit their dollars with stablecoin issuers and transfer them to exchanges, according to a report. The closure of Silvergate’s instant payment network, SEN, has sparked concerns in the cryptocurrency market about the future of fiat currency. SEN was widely used by exchanges, market makers, and investors to move large amounts of U.S. dollars quickly and easily, but with its demise, liquidity could suffer. Coinbase, Paxos, Galaxy Digital, and other major cryptocurrency companies have already dropped Silvergate as their banking partner, leaving Signature Bank as one of the few remaining banking alternatives.

Iran completes Preliminary Research For CBDC Project

According to an official statement from the Central Bank of Iran’s research arm, the Monetary and Banking Research Institute, Iran has completed preliminary research to launch a potential digital rial, as part of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) plans. The CBI aims to increase the scope of the CBDC pilot in the country’s payment system but is not rushing the implementation. Mohammad Reza Mani Yekta, head of the CBI office for supervising payment systems, noted that a digital rial would be distributed among individuals and banks, with the CBDC infrastructure recreating some blockchain features. The “crypto rial,” pegged to the national currency at a 1:1 ratio, reportedly runs on a platform called Borna, which was developed using Hyperledger Fabric.

Arweave Protocol’s Focus on Permanent Data Storage Draws Demand: Messari Report

Arweave Protocol, a blockchain-based cloud storage provider, is attracting attention for its unique market opportunity in providing a solution for users seeking to store data permanently. Unlike established cloud storage providers such as Amazon and Google, Arweave uses a blockchain-like structure called a blockweave and a data structure called the “Weave” to enable scalable on-chain storage. According to a report by crypto intelligence firm Messari, the “Weave” has expanded by 135%, reaching 134 TB of storage over the past year. Although this growth may seem small compared to Filecoin’s growth of 1390% to 687,900 TB of storage in the same period, Filecoin focuses on temporary storage while Arweave provides permanent storage solutions.

Binance.US Takes Giant Leap Toward Billion-Dollar Acquisition of Voyager Digital

Binance.US has taken a significant step towards acquiring the assets of bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Voyager Digital in a deal valued at over $1 billion. A bankruptcy judge in the Southern District of New York, Michael Wiles, ruled in favor of the proposed acquisition, stating that he would work through the confirmation order. However, Binance.US may still face regulatory obstacles before finalizing the deal. The VGX token of Voyager surged over 8% following the announcement. The acquisition plan was put together after FTX, the previous bidder, filed for bankruptcy protection in November. The deal was supported by 97% of Voyager’s creditors who responded to the proposal, with the potential of recovering almost three-quarters of their holdings.

FDIC Regulators Raid Silvergate Capital’s Headquarters Amid Financial Turmoil

According to anonymous sources, US regulators have been sent to the headquarters of Silvergate Capital Corp. as the crypto-friendly bank struggles to find a solution to stay in business. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) officials have been discussing ways to avoid a shutdown with Silvergate’s management. One option being considered is to line up crypto investors to help shore up the bank’s liquidity. FDIC examiners were authorized to go to the bank’s offices by the Federal Reserve, said one of the sources. The lender has yet to decide on how to deal with its financial turmoil, and the involvement of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve shows the urgency of the situation.

Crypto Market Volatile After Jerome Powell’s Testimony to Congress

The crypto market experienced a day of ups and downs following Jerome Powell’s testimony to Congress. Bitcoin, which was trading at $22,070, saw a 1.5% drop after Powell’s announcement that the Federal Reserve is prepared to increase the pace of rate hikes. The price fell as low as $21,900 earlier in the day. Ether also saw a decline, trading at $1,550, down 0.9% on the day, while altcoins experienced slight falls and rise. CoinFLEX’s token was an exception, gaining 8.7% after the company received court approval for its restructuring plans. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) traded up throughout the day, gaining about 9.6% to $12.90 at the close, while ETHE, the asset manager’s ether product, increased by 2.8% to about $7.12. Other crypto stocks saw slight declines, with Silvergate down 3.7% to $5.20, Coinbase down 1.4% to around $62, Block down 3.4% to trade around $78, and MicroStrategy declining by 6% to $231.44.